New Beads!

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It has been a crazy week!

Lauren's wedding was lovely - very simple with family and lots of fun and dancing. The bride and groom were gorgeous and soon I will post photos of lovely Lauren in her jewelry. It was perfect for her dress. :)

In between wedding festivities, a visit from my sister and cleaning the house to prepare for a realtor's walk through , I've been unpacking and playing with my new beads. Here are some samples. There are lots more and they are all slowly being uploaded to GoblinsMarket . They are exactly what I had hoped for.

Wedding jewelry Finished?

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So - Here is the finished wedding jewelry - pending the Bride's approval.

I switched out the monster jump rings for these smaller ones to join the pearl strands to the brass filigree. See - they are almost invisible now, compared to the first draft. Thank you, funkyfindings for getting these jump rings to me on time!

I removed one link from the large linked pearls to make the whole pendant hang asymmetrically and added a few beads to the pale pearl strand to cause that to drape a little deeper than the copper strand of pearls.

The earrings are made from two large champagne sand colored pearls and copper beads & button pearls. I got the gold plated leverbacks from beads4ewe because I forgot to include gold colored ear wires in my last bulk supply order. Beads4ewe shipped them out very quickly and at a great price.

That's one of the things I love about Etsy. I was able to go to an Etsy supply shop and pick up the few findings I needed for very little money and very reasonable shipping rates for this project. There were no minimum order requirements, no monstrous Fed Ex shipping charge and the mark up on the findings was not huge, compared to the prices I can get when I order similar things wholesale. Hooray for Etsy supply shops!

As a finishing touch, I added a teeny blue button pearl at the clasp to fulfill the "something blue" requirement. :) I'll try to snap some good photos of the bride in her whole ensemble on Saturday.

I'm planing adding lots more kits and mixes to GoblinsMarket this spring, including some involved bead weaving kits with detailed and illustrated instructions. Anyone interested in creating an ensemble similar to Lauren's wedding jewelry can just leave me a message here and I will let you know when I've got all the necessary pieces together for a kit.

New Beads are a-comin!

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I have been slobbering around my favorite supplier's website for several months now cobbling together the perfect basket full of beads. (Thank heavens for auto-save shopping carts!) I don't know if it is the weather or what, but I am now anxiously awaiting a shipment of beads in a very springy theme - lots of pinks and vibrant greens. Here's a partial preview. Because I took the time to craft this order in a very specific color range, I will probably put together some kits or mixes based on these beads so people can enjoy a few of each at pretty low cost.

After I put this cart together, I checked the color forecast guides and some of these colors are coming up this spring and summer in the fashion world. I'm not sure whether to be encouraged about this or worried. I made the mistake one year of using color forecast guides to dictate what colors I used for dyes and didn't get a great response. Now I go with my own instincts for colors and have better success and more personal satisfaction. I suspect that most of my customers are like me - they create with the colors they want to use at the moment - not with whatever Christian Dior sent down the runway last week. But somebody might be looking for just that special shade of green and maybe I'll have it - that's always nice.

I've also ordered a quarter kilo of permanent finish gold seed beads that I'm really excited about. I've had a friend request something special in velvet dyed purple with gold netted seed bead fringe. I don't even have the fabric dyed yet, but I'm already breathless over THAT project! I love looking at the seed beds this seller has - and I want to order a kilo of every color but . . . seed beads don't tend to sell well of Etsy and it is very expensive to stock lots of seed beads. Maybe if I ever open up a real bead store, I will make the financial commitment to carry a full line of seed beads . . . .

Enough wool gathering! Time to go figure my NS Sales Tax payment for this year. That's why I placed my order Before I did my bookwork this morning!

I made some beautiful earrings

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for MYSELF but found that they were just too heavy for my elderly ears. (Believe it or not, earlobes start to get saggy and wrinkled somewhere around 40-ish. Sigh.)

The gorgeous artisan beads are lovely enough that I don't want to sell them off. I guess Molly Bryn gets to enjoy them until I find another use for those beads.

The beads were made by Lori Lochner, a fellow Adirondack artist. She does incredible things with glass and has a small but wonderful Etsy shop.

I love the etched glass beads in this necklace.

And her sea urchin beads are wonderful.

But it is this Conch bead that really blows me away. Someday I want to work magic in glass like her!

Bestow the luck of the Irish . . .

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So - Etsy is running a short poll on St. Patrick's Day themed items. Winners of the poll will have their item featured in two special advertising slots on Etsy for St. Patty's day. This will drive more traffic to these sellers' stores and potentially increase their revenue for March.

My fellow Etsy blogger, 3RexesJewelry, has this gorgeous pair of earrings in the running. If you follow this link, you can see all of the beautiful things the Etsy community has created for this celebration & vote for your favorite

If you are buying gifts for St. Patricks Day - buy handmade and support an indie artist! Check out Etsy or your local Arts Council gift gallery. It's so much more fun to buy and give gifts that are made by a real human being that you can actually communicate with. With Etsy, you can even find an artist that lives near you with the Shop Local tool. It is soo cool! Just scroll down the main page and look in the margin - you'll find it.

How did I get a Mole in my vacuum cleaner???

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I awoke this morning to Maxx shaking my arm and exclaiming about a mousie caught in the vacuum cleaner. I thought he was pretending to have a mouse caught so I went along with his game until I dioscovered - lo and behold - there really was a small thing moving around in the vacuum! Not a mousie - a mole.

What a crazy way to start the day.

First, I have no idea how the boy got downstairs before me. I have excellent sneaky-child radar and am usually awake before he even gets to the hallway, much less all the way downstairs.

Second, aside from the fact that we live in a crumbling old farm house, I have no idea why we have so many moles suddenly. I caught one in a snappy mouse trap a week ago. Earlier this week, one got caught in a mice cube (a more humane mousie catcher). And now this one - the vacuum cleaner mole. Maybe it is an invasion of sorts. A super cute & soft, speedy, sightless invasion.

Third, I have no idea what would have induced this particular mole to crawl into my vacuum cleaner, all the way up the tube and fall into the dust bin at the bottom. But there he was, all dusty and dirty and longing for freedom. He'll get it soon enough. Right now he's in the trash bin but soon he will also go for a walk in the woods.

We are learning a lot about rodents around here lately. Moles are vey cute in a strange sort of way. they move MUCH more quickly than you would expect and can jump quite high - they are almost impossible to photograph. They like dog food and a drink of water after they have been caught in the vacuum for several hours. They almost never stop moving while in captivity and their fur really is just about the softest thing on the planet. (I don't recommend petting a mole bare handed unless he has calmed down enough to be touched. Moles have a poison in their saliva that paralyses earthworms - it can't feel good in your finger.)

BTW - if you are freaked out by small furry, speedy things, remember that I live in the East's largest bat sanctuary. Small furry things WITHOUT wings are awesome.

Art and Evolution

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This is a book that I will have to read. Molly and I are listening to On Point this morning and chuckling about the possibility that perhaps some distant ancestress chose her mate on the basis of his ability to make a pretty hand axe.

I can just hear the conversation . .

"Who are you going to dance with around the fire when the hunters return, Nula?"

"I think I'll dance with Lud. He has a very sexy axe."

Homeschool is great. I'm so glad we tuned in.

Look who I found lurking in the lair - and what am I to do about it?

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What a week we had last week! Bry has been working on taping the ceiling panels in our livingroom (remember that living room makeover we started last spring break?) and I've been working on scarves and inventory updates and we've both been cleaning up after a sick kid so the house is in serious disarray this morning.

I hope to get the living room clean and tidy, the laundry folded and maybe put away, Maxx's toddler toys cleaned out of his room so some of his bigger boy toys can go in, get the dishes washed and the kitchen cleaned up as well as spend at least half an hour with the treadmill, keep the fire burning and keep Molly on task with homeschool.

I'm not ambitious at all today.

But first I wanted to show off my new scarves and show you who I found lurking in the lair when I cleaned my studio a couple of weeks ago.

Here are some photos of my new scarves - they are already on their way to their new owners.

I'm in love with the purple moon scarf. I need to get my stretcher back out later this week and experiment with those funky color combinations some more.

These are among my simpler dragons and certainly are not my best ever but they are cute.

The Phoenix is wonderful. It was an exciting design challenge and I had fun blending the colors and creating the plumage. I've listed them all over at GoblinsMarket. They are not getting the attention they deserve hiding away in the mess of my studio.

I haven't worked with polymer clay for a while so these are probably over a year old. I'm torn about working with polymer anymore. I really like making dragons - I love the intricacy that I can develop with color and embellishments and I am addicted to all things fairy tale. BUT - the last time I worked with the clay, I had some very troubling reactions. . . . . .

It had been a few years since I had had time and inclination to get the stuff out - mostly because my old pasta machine was shot - it just took too long to condition the clay and get a good color blend with the old machine. There was a sale on PM's at Joanne Fabric on day so I rushed out to grab a new one and got my clay out again. I made lots of dragons and some mokumo game beads over the course of a couple of weeks and then my hormones hit me. PMS was terrifying that month - I was an emotional wreck (worse than my usual wreckage) weeping and then raging uncontrollably, close to suicidal a couple of times, horribly painful breasts and the night before my cycle began, I had bouts of shaking, chills and sweating. I was seriously considering a trip to the ER.

After decompressing for a few days, I realized that my horible hormones were probably a reaction to contact with the polymer clay. I bought some hand lotion that forms a barrier on your skin to prevent absorption of chemicals. The next month PMS was bad, but not as bad as the previous month. I quit using the Polymer Clay and my system stabilized to its normal level of insanity after a few cycles. I haven't worked with the clay since and can't decide on what course of action to take.

Do I use up what I have left? Do I chuck it all out? Do I try to continue to work with the stuff wearing gloves as much as possible? I was very frustrated to have developed a profitable and fulfilling new product line (dragons) only to discover thatthe process makes me sick. And I'm in a quandry about supporting an art form that obviously has serious health and likely environmental implications. Polymer Clay advocates and manufacturers insist that the stuff is safe, it cannot case cancer or other disease and is manufactured in an environmentally sound manner.

Really? Who do I trust? My body or those who make money selling me the stuff? How closely linked is my early Ploymer Clay use to my secondary infertility and endometriosis problems?

I will never know.

What I do know is that I have these beautiful things sitting around and stuff to make more ofthem and I don't know what to do with it all.
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